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Two New, Unidentified, and Potentially Harmful Arthropods

Discussion in 'Issues, Disease and Pests' started by Platanthera, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. Platanthera

    Platanthera New Member

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    Hello all,

    It's been a while since I posted photos of the strange arthropods I've noticed on and around my orchids. After finding a dead leaf with black eggs and small white arthropods, I decided now would be the right time to have an identification made for the aforementioned and for another species which has been on my mind.

    The small white insects in the first and second photos are present in great numbers and I only noticed them about two weeks ago. They're mostly present on the surfaces where my orchids are mounted, but I was recently alarmed to discover a great deal of these arthropods and their eggs underneath a dead leaf on my B. tingabarinum. What are they? Might they be harmful?

    The second unidentified arthropod is seen less frequently, and only on my R. sanguinea. They've been around as long as I can remember (from when I got it to present day) and don't seem to be up to anything particularly sinister. Their population has also remained relatively unchanged. Perhaps these arthropods are harmless like the springtails I posted photos of earlier this year and should be ignored.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. If more photos or details would be helpful, please let me know.

    Thanks!
     

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  2. pcolman

    pcolman Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Both appear to be mites. The dark brown shiny one is an oribatid mite. They are harmless and feed on decaying plant and fungal material. The white ones I don't specifically recognize, but they don't resemble anything harmful that I know of. If there are great numbers of them and they are don't appear to be doing damage, I doubt they're harmful. If you have large number of harmful mites, it's difficult not to notice.
     
    Platanthera, RustyExotics and Marni like this.
  3. Platanthera

    Platanthera New Member

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    I'm glad to know what one of my mystery arthropods are, and I'm relieved to hear that neither appear to be harmful. I'll keep an eye on the smaller white mites and the orchid they're on just in case they were responsible for the loss of a leaf on my B. tingabarinum. Thanks for the identifications!
     
  4. pcolman

    pcolman Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    If that's the leaf, it wasn't due to mite damage. By the time a leaf falls due to mite damage, it's a total wreck, and it won't be just one leaf in isolation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  5. Platanthera

    Platanthera New Member

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    Yes, the photos are of the white mites are all from the leaf that fell off. The others are all green and have no blemishes or discoloration. The remaining mites are concentrated on the material the orchid is currently mounted on, and seem to rarely venture onto the pseudobulbs or leaves at all. I can't say I know what they're feeding on, but from what you said and personal observations I suppose they're harmless. Thanks again for the comments.